Introduction

This guide is a publication of the Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. The Montana SBDC Network is a partnership between the Montana Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, regional economic development organizations and the Montana higher education system.

The SBDC Lead Center is located at the Montana Department of Commerce and supports ten SBDC offices throughout the state that provide free, confidential, one-on-one business consulting and training programs to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The Montana SBDC Network has been servicing the Montana small business community since 1989.

The SBDC Directors and Business Advisors assist clients every day with the preparation or fine-tuning of business plans, financial management, operations assistance, loan packaging and marketing initiatives. SBDC training seminars and workshops cover timeless small business issues such as cash flow management, as well as new and emerging trends.

The SBDCs are dedicated to helping small businesses throughout Montana achieve their goals of growth, expansion, innovation and success. The SBDC Network combines the resources of federal, state and local organizations with that of the private sector and education system to meet the specialized and complex needs of the small business community.

This guide has been collaboratively designed by the SBDC Network as a step-by-step introduction to the issues that every new business will face. The primary goal is to provide information that will help a potential small business owner plan for the successful start-up and operation of their business.

SBDC Business Advisors are available for one-on-one counseling sessions to help guide you through the start-up and business development process, but advanced preparation is highly recommended.

If you decide to pursue your business idea, the next step is most likely the completion of a detailed and well-researched business plan. The preliminary work covered in this guide will put you well on your way toward an effective business plan.

Cover of A Guide to Starting Your Own Business in Montana.